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Countries scramble to get citizens out of Libya

By the CNN Wire Staff
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At the Libya, Egypt border
  • Libya
  • Tripoli
  • Air Travel
  • Benghazi
  • Egypt
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(CNN) -- Governments around the world are making a run to get their citizens out of volatile Libya. Here is a country-by-country breakdown:


The Department of State recommended Thursday that any U.S. citizens in Libya "depart immediately due to the potential for ongoing unrest."

It noted that "violent clashes between protesters and security forces continue throughout Libya, including in Tripoli" and warned that "spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days."

The department ordered all Embassy family members and non-emergency personnel to leave the country.

There were roughly 6,000 Americans in Libya.

A ferry chartered by the United States to evacuate citizens from Libya is expected to depart within the "next several hours," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday afternoon. Crowley told reporters the exact timing of the ship's departure depends on the weather.

A total of 285 people are safely on board, Crowley said. The vessel can hold up to 575 people.

The ship is carrying 167 U.S. citizens, including 40 nonessential embassy staff and family, as well as 118 third-country nationals.

The State Department had one charter plane scheduled to land Thursday in Tripoli, but it had to be canceled because of the weather, according to a senior U.S. official. "We hope to get one plane in tomorrow (Friday)," the official said.

On Tuesday, the Libyan government refused permission for a U.S. charter sent to fly out Americans to land in Tripoli. The U.S. did not get permission because the "system is under stress," not necessarily because the Libyan government was deliberately trying to stop flights, the official said.


An Airbus A310 belonging to the French air force made a flight to the central Libyan city of Sabha and returned to Paris with 165 French nationals Thursday, the Defense Ministry said.


India plans to evacuate its citizens from Libya by air and sea. Government officials said they have chartered a ferry with the capacity to seat 1,200 people. The ship will reach Benghazi by Saturday and is expected to arrive in Egypt with the evacuees by Tuesday.


Britain's Foreign & Commonwealth Office reported helping more than 350 British nationals and 25 people from other countries depart Libya Thursday. The office reported receiving on Thursday more than 1,000 calls from British nationals seeking to leave Libya.

Five flights have departed or were set to depart Thursday from Tripoli. More flights were to be arranged for Friday as necessary.

The HMS Cumberland departed Benghazi carrying 207 passengers, about 68 of them British. It was slated to arrive in Valletta, Malta on Friday. Another 25 British nationals were aboard the U.S. ferry in Tripoli harbor.


The Canadian foreign affairs office said a flight chartered by the government will leave Tripoli for Rome on Thursday.

"All Canadian citizens wishing to leave Libya on this flight should arrive at the airport in Tripoli by 10 a.m. on Thursday and wait in the left side of the parking lot located in front of the airport," the office said.


Over the past few days, China has evacuated 12,000 of the tens of thousands of Chinese nationals in Libya, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said Friday, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Most of them are employees of Chinese companies with businesses in Libya. Many have been taken to neighboring countries including Greece, Egypt and Tunisia by ocean liners, airplanes or coaches, according to the Foreign Ministry.


The president's office is sending an EgyptAir plane to Tripoli on Thursday to evacuate 260 workers and their families. South Korean officials are considering chartering more planes as well as moving people by land and sea routes. There are nearly 1,400 South Koreans in Libya, working at almost 300 building sites.


Egyptian authorities have asked EgyptAir to operate evacuation flights of Egyptian nationals from Tripoli, according to EgyNews, the official state-run website. Two military planes have also been sent, the assistant foreign minister for expatriates told Egyptian TV, and there are ongoing efforts to send ferries to ports in Tripoli and Benghazi.


The first flight carrying Nigerian nationals out of Libya will leave Thursday, according to a spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency. Officials aren't sure how many people will need flights but say any necessary flights will be organized.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to allow 300 Palestinaian to enter the Palestinian territories from Libya on humanitarian grounds, according to a statement from his office. The request was made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


Two ferry boats carrying more than 3,000 Turks left Benghazi early Wednesday morning, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Two more ferry boats -- each capable of carrying 1,200 people -- are headed to the North African nation. A third ferry is expected to arrive in Benghazi on Thursday.

The boats will carry food and medical supplies for Libyans as demanded by the Turkish prime minister, the ministry said. The ministry added that in addition to the daily scheduled flights by Turkish Airlines to Tripoli, seven more planes are on standby in case they are permitted to fly to Benghazi airport or make additional flights to Tripoli.


Saudi Arabia said it sent a special passenger plane to Tripoli on Wednesday morning.


The Syrian Arab News Agency said the country is ready to launch an "unlimited number of flights if necessary." It added that Syria may also send a ship to Benghazi to help evacuate Syrians.


The Dutch government said a military plane and a Dutch frigate would help evacuate its nationals in Libya.

CNN's Tim Lister, Jill Dougherty, Carol Jordan, Diana Magnay, Michael Zippori, Jonathan Wald, Alan Silverleib, Adam Levine, and journalists Ian Lee and Yesim Comert contributed to this report.

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